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Biannual November 2020 Irish Market Update Report

Updated: Jul 8, 2022

Host in Ireland is delighted to announce that the latest Irish Data Center Report is now available.

The Biannual 2020 Report has been published and you can download it here

By downloading this, you will get access to our Biannual 2020 report.  This report will show you the most up to date and accurate information on the Irish data hosting market. Our report includes the latest Dashboard with the Dublin Metro Market Map and figures.


Around the world, 2020 has challenged us in ways we never could have imagined. While many have struggled, bright spots have shone as our communities came together in compassion and care for one another. The data centre industry has been no different. As essential workers, the magnitude of responsibility to keep our country online and functioning has been great. Yet the data centre teams across Host in Ireland’s partners have also felt a great sense of pride and purpose knowing the work they are doing is having a positive impact on their friends, neighbours and fellow citizens as a whole.

This isn’t just a feel good sentiment, but also an economic one. According to recent research from ESRI, “despite the international and domestic economy shock, the economic impacts on Ireland’s macroeconomy, as measured by the growth rate of gross domestic product (GDP), were relatively benign. . .the relatively strong performance of Irish exports during the first half of 2020 bucks the international trends when export growth around the world was falling.” Leading those exports? Computer services for which data centres are the critical backbone infrastructure.

To break it down, €117 billion of the total €448 billion of Irish goods and services exports is due to computer services, accounting for just over one-quarter (26%) of Ireland’s export activity. While exports fell dramatically for the vast majority of sectors (transport, tourism, retail to name a few), computer services, pharmaceuticals and medicinal products have had strong enough performances to buoy the Irish economy as a whole. This chart shows the breakdown of exports and a comparison of year over year growth.

As Ireland continues moving towards a future of green electricity, sustainability offers another path forward for the digital economy. The government’s latest budget prioritised decarbonisation of our society as one of the three key pillars to its plan, a smart and forward thinking proposition. Ireland has the potential to generate 9.2 GW of renewable electricity by 2030, far more than needed for Irish consumption. While talk of exporting the excess power is certainly worth consideration, there is an opportunity to power a more valuable export asset in the form of data.

The Irish Academy of Engineering’s (IAE) recent report on “The Future of Electricity Transmission in Ireland” validates this thought by noting “One could indeed argue that there is little point in constructing large amounts of renewable generation in Ireland and then exporting its output at exceptionally low prices. Official CSO and SEAI import/export data for 2019 indicates that the price of Irish electricity exports, which take place predominantly when wind generation is high, is less than 50% of the price paid to wind generators for that output under the REFIT regime.” As we see with other natural resources, the value add of a data service is greater than the renewable electricity alone. Add to that, the infrastructure to move data already exists whereas the infrastructure to move the electricity does not.

It continues to be an exciting time for the data centre industry. The work being carried out is having a real impact on our lives every day. While much in the future remains uncertain, I am optimistic that an abundance of opportunities still lay ahead for Ireland and its digital economy.

Garry Connolly

Founder - Host in Ireland




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